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Global Battle Of The Bands 2012 - Semifinal Finland

Stadt / City Helsinki 
Land / Country FIN 
Web gbob.com/finland
Datum / Date24.3.2012 

"The Global Battle Of The Bands" (GBOB), "Emergenza", "Radio RockStarba"... Bandcontests seem to be a prospering business at the moment, at least in Finland. GBOB as well as "Emergenza" are claiming to be the world`s biggest music competition for live-bands of all genres. Who is right? Well, GBOB started in 2004, and in 2010 over 30 countries took part in the competition. "Emergenza", however, has been around already since 1992, with about 150 participating cities in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. And frankly, I have heard about "Emergenza" more than 10 years ago, while I had never heard of GBOB before. However: Tonight, the semi-final for the Finnish version of this contest takes place at "LeBonk", hosted by The 69 Eyes frontman Jyrki69 and Radio NRJ presenter Elina Otsala.

The jury, which evaluates each band right after their performance, consists of the following four members: Tidjân Bâ, second voice of the Finnish Hip Hop band "Kwan", Rytmi`s editor-in-chief Heta Hyttinen, Finnish rapper Notkea Rotta and the Finnish media personality Wallu Valpio. With a total of 14 bands, the programme is pretty tight and it`s going to be repeatedly emphasised that everything should and will take place accurately and on time.

It starts with the performance of Control Machine, followed by RiverHeart. Both are rock bands, partly featuring also female voices, and both are not bad, but also not outstanding from the masses of rock bands out there. It`s going to be a little bit more interesting with the very American-sounding Alternative Rock by Different Toiminen, before the eight members of Get Me truly rock the house - not with Rock but with Funk and Soul!

The sound - dominated by wind instruments such as saxophone, trumpet and trombone - stimulates even the jury and the performance is the so far best one tonight. After that follows a flood of Punk (or Punk-inspired) bands with Slap Betty, Expected Boy, Dawn, Nation Attacks Enemy and The Blush - and due to a lack of creativity, it`s going to be very, very tedious! Even the (partly positive) changes in style in between and afterwards with 24 Sanctions (Metal / Rock with growling parts), UniQarma (musical style like Evanescence), Strenght Val and Planet Fallout (both poppy Alternative Rock) can`t make up for it, and so in front of the stage it`s getting empty every now and then. But the really annoying thing is the fact that the event is behind schedule, already over half an hour (!!!) late - and a few bands and the encore of the three winning bands are still to come! It`s very annoying as we will miss the Helsinki premiere of the Finnish gothic DJane Annie Raven at another event, due to this delay...

To my surprise and delight, the last band on stage is no one less than Baton Rogue Morgue (start photo). Exactly a week ago, I saw the rockers from Porvoo perform a show in the "Green Room" of "Bar Bäkkäri" which included some stripper girls. But their Heavy Metal works without bare skin, too, as it`s shown with "Hellride" and the very felicitous "Finger On The Trigger". Finally, there are some positive vibes returning to "LeBonk" - but that doesn`t seem to impress the jury at all: After another 20 minutes of deliberation, which are not mentioned in the schedule, Get me, Different Toiminen, 24 Sanctions and Slap Betty are announced as the winner bands. Four instead of three, no-one knows why - and with that, the event ends immediately. "No encore of tonight`s winner bands, we are anyway almost one and a half hours too late with everything, bye!"

Conclusion: We could have spent this evening much more enjoyable, as the GBOB organisation of is still pretty much in its infancy, at least in Finland. On that note, one can only hope that the Finnish final on 14th April 2012 at "The Circus" in Helsinki will be better organised...

+ photos: Stefanie Singh

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